It is true that there are many herbal remedies available over the counter or even from your own garden. And for short term problems, such as natural first aid treatments, you might be able to find a remedy that helps. But, sometimes you just need a specialist! This article explains why you should consider consulting a medical herbalist. After all, if you are not sure which is the right remedy for you then you could end up with a mountain of remedies and supplements that are just not doing anything to help you get better. After all, chronic illnesses usually need a bit of detective work and more than one therapy or treatment.
Medical herbalist qualifications
Medical herbalists are qualified to BSc or an equivalent in Herbal Medicine. They train in the same diagnostic skills as a GP. Plus they have an in-depth knowledge of the safe and effective use of herbal medicines.
Safety is an important reason why I recommend consulting a medical herbalist. Members of professional organisations such as the National Institute of Medical Herbalists are highly trained. For instance, they know which herbs should not be used if you are taking certain medications. Some herbs can have additive effects on the medicines your doctor might prescribe. Other herbs help your body to detoxify. Of course, this ability to detoxify is often desirable. But, if you are taking prescription medication your body can detoxify and excrete that medicine more quickly than your doctor might expect. Meaning that you might not have an adequate dose of your prescription medication in your body. Saint John’s wort is a good example of this sort of herb.
There are also some herbs that you should avoid if you have certain health conditions. And certainly, this is the case during pregnancy or breastfeeding. For instance, some herbs should only be taken in the later stages of pregnancy.
A small number of very potent herbs are not available to the general public. But medical herbalists have training in the safe use of these herbs and have access to them if required.
Herbal medicines are the Medical Herbalist’s tools. We are aware that it is crucial to be careful about the sustainability of herbal resources. This is a growing concern because climate change is also affecting plant survival.
I only source my herbal medicines from reputable manufacturers who maintain consistent quality standards. This helps to ensure that authenticity is maintained. I stock my dispensary with organic herbs and herbal products whenever possible.